polite

play
adjective po·lite \pə-ˈlīt\

Definition of polite

politer

;

politest

  1. 1a :  of, relating to, or having the characteristics of advanced cultureb :  marked by refined cultural interests and pursuits especially in arts and belles lettres

  2. 2a :  showing or characterized by correct social usageb :  marked by an appearance of consideration, tact, deference, or courtesyc :  marked by a lack of roughness or crudities polite literature

politely

adverb

politeness

noun

Examples of polite in a sentence

  1. It was polite of him to hold the door for them.

  2. Please be polite to the guests.

  3. It isn't polite to interrupt people when they're talking.

  4. She received some polite applause despite the mistakes in her performance.

Origin and Etymology of polite

Middle English (Scots) polit, Latin politus, from past participle of polire


First Known Use: circa 1500

Synonym Discussion of polite

civil, polite, courteous, gallant, chivalrous mean observant of the forms required by good breeding. civil often suggests little more than the avoidance of overt rudeness. owed the questioner a civil reply polite commonly implies polish of speech and manners and sometimes suggests an absence of cordiality. if you can't be pleasant, at least be polite courteous implies more actively considerate or dignified politeness. clerks who were unfailingly courteous to customers gallant and chivalrous imply courteous attentiveness especially to women. gallant suggests spirited and dashing behavior and ornate expressions of courtesy. a gallant suitor of the old school chivalrous suggests high-minded and self-sacrificing behavior. a chivalrous display of duty


POLITE Defined for English Language Learners

polite

play
adjective po·lite \pə-ˈlīt\

Definition of polite for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing good manners or respect for other people

  • : socially correct or proper


POLITE Defined for Kids

polite

play
adjective po·lite \pə-ˈlīt\

Definition of polite for Students

politer

;

politest

  1. :  showing courtesy or good manners

politely

adverb

politeness

noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up polite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!